By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Card game creators Janelle Jones and Sanji Moore ‘wich you can help by contributing to the Kickstarter here. Okay, now that bad pun is out of my system, I can say this sandwich making card game is on its last week to sailing to success. It’s always fun to unlock the stretch goals in these crowdfunding campaigns, and what’s offered are thank you’s to everyone who contributed to this party card game. The idea is certainly perfect for moms and creative types looking for new ideas to craft up for their kids next meal (or themselves). I’m sure they’ve heard enough whines of not peanut butter and jelly again. The question I have is if jellyfish is a valid condiment? As an Asian, some of us do love this treat!
In addition to the staple ingredients, there’s impossible to eat stuff like glass (unless it’s made of candy) that you have to include in your final product which you have to convince players is the best. Gordon Ramsey, look out!
There’s no magical djinni to transform the weird to the fantastic, and nor is there Wesley, the farm hand from Princess Bride to take on every request from the lovely Buttercup. I can’t help but wonder if Fezzik the giant would eat anything presented to him, but this game isn’t about a certain Life brand cereal. Mikey wouldn’t eat the ideas made up here.
Instead of focusing on pop culture references in the text, this game is for the gastronomist. Alchemist is the better term to describe the strange concoctions and a bit of strategy is required if you want to come out on top as top chef! In addition to the really out there ingredients in the deck are cards players can draw to throw at each other to make a dent at their idea. Although I haven’t found the card yet, I ‘d be challenged to eat gold leaf, and to eat this in the real world is entirely possible! You just have to visit a high end restaurant. There’s even some gross out products which, at the owner’s discretion, can be removed so players won’t feel so revolted.
The goal is to construct a sandwich by selecting from the options available at the three shops created by the random draw pile or this pile itself–and hoping all gamers like what you’ve created. Shops “restock” the goods by the ingredients players put instead of discarding.
By declaring that a store is closed early can really screw the other players’ plan for that perfect sandwich. Fortunately, there are action cards that can reopen the shop, steal from others or expand the options in what to put in that five card sammich.
Once all these stores are closed by the player, then it’s time to sell your product. Players have to name their creation and put on their best used car salesman pitch in why their Jimmy John is the best. On the count of three, the players point at the invention that they like, and they can’t vote for themselves. Sadly, eating paper is not ideal, and the gaming group I was with actually salivated at the thought of the creations we made up.
With the play test group I am with, we talked about whether we’d want to truly eat the combos made. I had a crazy Po’ Boy but not Po’ Boy. It was a lobster, avocado, red onion, falafel in a croissant. If I was able to add a card, it’d be a warm dipping cheese sauce (not Cheese wiz tho) to make the meal shine!
This game is best with five or more players. There’s enough ingredients per category–meats, buns, condiments and veggies (to name a few)–but if you’re playing with three players, to sort out the cards and scale it down is an enormous task especially before an impromptu game.
Unlike Subway, where you have a choice of about a dozen ingredients and at five sauces to put with the bread, the options presented in this game are far more expansive. Expansion is possible, but that means including additional categories which include survival food foraging and becoming an entomophagist.